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    Default [3.5 ToB Monster] The Dorokusai (PEACH)

    The Dorokusai (Greater Chain Devil)


    The kyton, also known as the chain devil, is often mistaken for nothing more than an unquiet spirit due to its body being wrapped in chains and its otherwise unnerving appearance.

    Similarly, the dorokusai is often taken for a "mere" kyton. Again, the similarity is deceptive, and just as lethal.

    History
    To understand the dorokusai's origins, one must know something of Alikarin ahn Tollerria.

    The founder of the Chthonic Serpent martial discipline, Tollerria is known to have confronted and defeated at least three kytons in the course of his life. Alikarin's rationale (as espoused by students of his school) for actively seeking out denizens of the lower planes others would prefer to avoid is said to be study: the study of the kyton's use of chains as its weapons. According to the school's adherents, what he learned formed part of the maneuvers and stances of the discipline Tollerria founded. Whether this is so, or whether Tollerria simply ran into such creatures as a function of his wandering and mercenary life, is unknown.

    What is known, as a result of many divinations, is that, just as Alikarin studied the ways of the kytons, these denizens of the lower planes took a great interest in the man who both mastered them and mastered their chosen weapons. And it is here that one encounters the tragic postscriptum to the master's life; for Alikarin ahn Tollerria’s soul did not reach its rest directly after his death. As it left his body, the old master's soul was intercepted by a band of kytons and their allies, and abducted to the lower realms.

    There it was imprisoned; there, subjected to black rites and tortures as the kytons tore his knowledge of the way of the Chthonic Serpent from his very spirit. The culmination of these indignities was a horrendous ritual in which a part of Alikarin’s soul was “chipped” from him, and transferred to a willing kyton subject.

    Various agents of the celestial realms had been spying out Alikarin's sufferings, aghast at what he was enduring; it was this final perversion which made their entreaties heard. The god Kord interceded directly, breaching the lower planes; three of the god’s solars scattered Alikarin’s captors and rescued the old master, escorting his tattered soul to its final rest.

    However, the true damage had already been done. The part of Alikarin’s soul which had been melded with that of the subject kyton could not be recovered, and it sang with power. The kyton subjected to the ritual rapidly grew in strength and ability, its form and abilities changing. Black rites were created to pass seeds of Alikarin's soul onto other such beasts.

    It became what practitioners of the Chthonic Serpent named dorokusai – a thing reeking of slime, a mocking perversion of their master’s memory and ways. Seasoned adventurers came to also know them as a Greater Chain Devil.

    Appearance:
    Dorokusai are humanlike devils, wrapped in chains instead of clothing. A Greater Chain Devil is 6’5 feet tall and weighs about 350 pounds, chains included. At first glance a dorokusai does not greatly differ in appearance from its lesser, kyton counterparts. It is humanoid in size and shape, and it retains the same general image of a creature wrapped in chains. However, closer inspection reveals more: the dorokusai has smoking red eyes, appears more powerfully built,with black rather than grey skin, and its chains have the faint glow of hellfire about them.

    The differences between a dorokusai and a normal kyton, though, may generally be found in its abilities and in the way it fights – for a dorokusai does not, as a kyton does, merely flail about with the chains. That portion of Alikarin’s soul which remains with the dorokusai has empowered it considerably with the speed, knowledge, and finesse to use the Chthonic Serpent and other disciplines effectively.

    Greater Chain Devils speak Infernal and Common.

    Challenge Rating: 12, possibly 13 or 14 depending on the number of chains available for the Dorokusai to control.
    Size/Type: Medium Outsider (Evil, Extraplanar, Lawful)
    Hit Dice: 12d8+48 (102 hp)
    Initiative: +9
    Speed: 30 feet (6 squares)
    Armor Class: 10 +8 [Natural Armor] +5 [Dex] = 23; Touch AC: 15; Flatfooted AC: 18
    Base Attack/Grapple: +12/+21
    Attack: Chain +13 (2d4+5, 19-20/x2)
    Full Attack: 2 Chains +13/+13/+7/+2.
    Space/Reach: 5 feet/5 feet (10 feet with chains)
    Special Attacks: Dorokusai Chains, Terrifying Gaze, Martial maneuvers
    Special Qualities: Damage reduction 5/good, darkvision 60 feet, immunity to cold, regeneration 2, spell resistance 19, Dissonant Soul
    Saves: Fort +12, Ref +13, Will +8
    Abilities: STR 20 (+5), DEX 20 (+5), CON 18(+4), INT 8(-1), WIS 10 (+0), CHA 10 (+0)
    Feats: Improved Critical (chain), Improved Initiative, Power Attack, Improved Grapple, Improved Unarmed Strike
    Skills: Climb, Craft (Blacksmithing), Escape Artist, Intimidate, Listen, Spot, Use Rope (Calculations still to be done).
    Environment: A lawful-evil aligned plane
    Alignment: Always lawful evil
    Disciplines known: Stone Dragon, Chthonic Serpent, Setting Sun
    Maneuvers and Stances: (Initiator Level 12)
    Stances:
    --Careful Chains (Chthonic Serpent, 3rd level)
    --Crushing Weight of the Mountain (Stone Dragon, 3rd level)
    Maneuvers:
    Chthonic Serpent:
    --Binding Constrictor (1st level)
    --Viper Lash (2nd level)
    --Blurred Bonds (4th level)
    --Choking Python (5th level)
    --Whirlwind Lash (5th level)
    --Cobra Lash (6th level)
    Stone Dragon:
    --Crushing Vise (6th level)
    Setting Sun:
    --Mighty Throw (1st level)
    --Devastating Throw (3rd level)
    --Soaring Throw (5th level).
    Level Adjustment: +5 at least. GM's careful discretion and contemplation of the dorokusai's abilities is explicitly advised before allowing this monster to be played as a character.


    Combat:
    A dorokusai attacks by grappling and lashing opponents with the spiked chains that serve as its clothing, armor, and weapons.

    A Greater Chain Devil’s natural weapons, as well as any weapons it wields -- including chains awakened with the Awaken Dire Chain ability described below -- are treated as evil-aligned and lawful-aligned for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

    Dorokusai Chains
    A dorokusai’s most awesome attack is its ability to utilise and control chains within 30 feet as follows, including the following powers--

    Awaken Dire Chain (Sp): As a swift action, the dorokusai may cast the spell Animate Objects as a 12th level caster. The spell as cast by the creature has the following alterations:
    • It has a range of no more than 30 feet.
    • Only chains are affected by the spell.
    • Chains worn or carried by a creature other than the dorokusai can be affected by the ability.

    Chains affected by this ability -- Awakened Dire Chains -- take on the statistics of an Animated Object according to their size as per the SRD, except that the chain's attack bonus becomes that of the dorokusai. An Awakened Dire Chain "slain" by a character cannot be reanimated by the dorokusai for 24 hours.

    If a chain is in another creature’s possession when the dorokusai attempts to Awaken it, that creature can attempt a DC 15 Will save to break the dorokusai's power over that chain. If the save is successful, the dorokusai cannot attempt to control that particular chain again for 24 hours or until the chain leaves the creature’s possession. The save DC is Charisma-based. Characters knowing maneuvers or stances from the Chthonic Serpent school obtain a +2 untyped bonus to this saving throw.

    Enlarge Dire Chain (Su): As a free action the dorokusai may command a chain of Small size or less awakened using the Awaken Dire Chain ability to change size to Medium and simultaneously grow barbs, becoming a spiked chain (if it is not already). The dorokusai may not command any other change in the chain's size, whether an increase or decrease. The Awakened Dire Chain's damage becomes 2d4+1.

    Dire Chain Rapport (Su): As a free action, the dorokusai may elect to initiate one of its martial strike maneuvers against a target engaged in meleé with, or grappling with, an Awakened Dire Chain. On its initiative count, the chain then attempts to execute the martial strike with the statistics of the dorokusai -- as though the dorokusai were in the place of the chain. Whether successful or not, this action expends the dorokusai's use of that martial strike for the encounter.

    Dire Chain Stairwell: (Su): A dorokusai can climb chains it controls at its normal speed without making Climb checks.

    Terrifying Gaze: (Su) Range 30 ft., Will DC 17 negates. A dorokusai can make its face resemble one of an opponent’s departed loved ones or bitter enemies. Those who fail their saves take a -4 penalty on attack rolls for 1d6 rounds. The save DC is Charisma-based.

    Regeneration (Ex): Dorokusai take normal damage from good-aligned weapons, and spells or effects with the good descriptor. A greater chain devil that loses a piece of its body regrows it in 2d6×10 minutes. Holding the severed member against the stump enables it to reattach instantly.

    Dissonant Soul (Vulnerability): The shard of Alikarin’s soul which is part of the dorokusai does not acquiesce to its merging with the creature's spirit. The remnant of the master responds particularly to a practitioner of the Chthonic Serpent school, raging against the indignity it faces and causing damage to the creature. If a character successfully uses a Chthonic Serpent strike maneuver against a dorokusai, the damage for that single strike is doubled. This doubling of damage stacks with critical hit multipliers (if applicable).

    Martial maneuvers
    Each of a dorokusai's maneuvers can be initiated once per encounter, with no recharge.

    Skills
    Greater Chain Devils have a +8 racial bonus on Craft checks involving metalwork.

    Spoiler
    Show
    So this is my first (and largely complete) attempt at homebrewing, and my first at creating a ToB monster.

    Onto some obvious notes: the Chthonic Serpent school is itself a (fantastic) homebrewby DragoonWraith, and can be found here, so if you're looking for most of this beastie's maneuvers, that's where they'll be. I strongly recommend at least knowing what the individual maneuvers do, since the dorokusai's whole modus is wrapped up (if you'll pardon the pun) in its more powerful use of spiked chains, and not using Chthonic Serpent maneuvers is really tying one arm behind this creature's back.

    The "use everything once per encounter" is because I was going for an overall, synergised monster build rather than just a kyton with class levels as such. It came off the Valkyrie monster at the back of ToB.

    Because this is also my first attempt, I'd also deeply appreciate criticism and people pointing out where I've miscalculated the numbers, if possible...hope you enjoy it.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: [3.5 ToB Monster] The Dorokusai (PEACH)

    wow, this thing looks great! It's also VERY deadly.

    It also has some built-in adventure hooks in one of the mechanical entries. Nicely done!

    Not sure about the skill points myself, since I don't have the MM handy.

    But for CR, just based on the fact that it is considered a level 12 initiator alone, we're looking at a CR of 12 or so at least. He also has more feats than the average level 12 character, I believe, but since you didn't put them all in highly optimized positions, I don't think it should effect the CR. (I could be wrong)

    with the additional special qualities and attacks though, I might be tempted to up the CR by say, 1 or 2 more.

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    Default Re: [3.5 ToB Monster] The Dorokusai (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by elliott20 View Post
    wow, this thing looks great! It's also VERY deadly.

    It also has some built-in adventure hooks in one of the mechanical entries. Nicely done!

    Not sure about the skill points myself, since I don't have the MM handy.

    But for CR, just based on the fact that it is considered a level 12 initiator alone, we're looking at a CR of 12 or so at least. He also has more feats than the average level 12 character, I believe, but since you didn't put them all in highly optimized positions, I don't think it should effect the CR. (I could be wrong)

    with the additional special qualities and attacks though, I might be tempted to up the CR by say, 1 or 2 more.
    I thought you could give five feats to a monster with 12 HD, on the SRD -- one for a starting character, and then one per four HDs achieved. If that's wrong I can kick one or two out -- Improved Initiative would probably be the first to go, but I'm open to suggestions.

    EDIT: Having said that, I've got a feeling, looking at it as I do, that the CR will probably wind up somewhere in the CR 14-15 range. In particular the fact this fellow's controlled chains can use martial maneuvers just as effectively as the dorokusai does is probably a sleeper technique. Especially if it's your own chains he's using.

    I mean, this bugger can just look at the two or three links of the nunchaku chain you've got, extend it out to 15 feet long, put barbed spikes on it, and then use a martial maneuver against you. This might need some more definition or clarification, perhaps. Wonder if I should make it clear that this sucker can sense the chains around it, so that handy chain you're carrying in your backpack suddenly bursts your pack and attacks you?

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    Default Re: [3.5 ToB Monster] The Dorokusai (PEACH)

    For the record, the HP is a bit off. The HD is 12d8+48; with an average roll of 4.5HP per HD, that adds up to 54+48, which equals 102HP.

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    Default Re: [3.5 ToB Monster] The Dorokusai (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Zeta Kai View Post
    For the record, the HP is a bit off. The HD is 12d8+48; with an average roll of 4.5HP per HD, that adds up to 54+48, which equals 102HP.
    Thanks, Zeta; I'm looking for tech/mathematical/statistical errors like that, so this is most useful.

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    Default Re: [3.5 ToB Monster] The Dorokusai (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Saintheart View Post
    I thought you could give five feats to a monster with 12 HD, on the SRD -- one for a starting character, and then one per four HDs achieved. If that's wrong I can kick one or two out -- Improved Initiative would probably be the first to go, but I'm open to suggestions.

    EDIT: Having said that, I've got a feeling, looking at it as I do, that the CR will probably wind up somewhere in the CR 14-15 range. In particular the fact this fellow's controlled chains can use martial maneuvers just as effectively as the dorokusai does is probably a sleeper technique. Especially if it's your own chains he's using.

    I mean, this bugger can just look at the two or three links of the nunchaku chain you've got, extend it out to 15 feet long, put barbed spikes on it, and then use a martial maneuver against you. This might need some more definition or clarification, perhaps. Wonder if I should make it clear that this sucker can sense the chains around it, so that handy chain you're carrying in your backpack suddenly bursts your pack and attacks you?
    to be honest, I don't feel that the chain ability here is a good one. It's a little too fuzzy. and to make it work, you're looking at a lot of conditional statements which can make this really complex. While extremely cool, I just don't know how well this can work.

    my gut instinct is to treat that ability as some kind of "animate object" type spell but only applies to chains.

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    Default Re: [3.5 ToB Monster] The Dorokusai (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by elliott20 View Post
    to be honest, I don't feel that the chain ability here is a good one. It's a little too fuzzy. and to make it work, you're looking at a lot of conditional statements which can make this really complex. While extremely cool, I just don't know how well this can work.

    my gut instinct is to treat that ability as some kind of "animate object" type spell but only applies to chains.
    Ironic part is that, bar the "initiate martial maneuvers remotely with a chain" part, the ability's drawn chapter and verse from the SRD entry on the kyton. So now it's time to fix the kyton!

    Looking at Animate Objects, that sort of looks right to me, although I might have to nerf down the number of chains controllable. I also looked at Animate Rope, and that might be something else to consider as well...

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    Default Re: [3.5 ToB Monster] The Dorokusai (PEACH)

    This is awesome. Very, very well done. I'll be proud to link to this, it's really cool. I really like what you did with Alikarin, too - sucks for him, but that's awesome flavor. Afraid I have very little experience with monsters, so I can't really help with the 'brewing.

    That said, some typos/copy pasta errors:
    Quote Originally Posted by Saintheart View Post
    If a chain is in another creature’s possession, the creature can attempt a DC 15 Will save to break the chain devil’s power over that chain. If the save is successful, the kyton cannot attempt to control that particular chain again for 24 hours or until the chain leaves the creature’s possession.
    ...
    Dorokusai take normal damage from good-aligned weapons, and spells or effects with the good descriptor. A chain devil that loses a piece of its body regrows it in 2d6×10 minutes.
    ...
    The shard of Alikarin’s soul which is part of the dorokusai does not acquiesce to its merging with the chain devil’s abilities.
    I assume these should say Dorokusai/Greater Chain Devil, rather than Kyton/Chain Devil? I mean, on some level those names are still accurate, but I feel like adding the different names will lead to less confusion.

    Also, you might want to change the title to be like "Dorokusai, Greater Chain Devil" or something, to let people know what it is.
    Last edited by DragoonWraith; 2009-12-08 at 03:01 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5 ToB Monster] The Dorokusai (PEACH)

    The Level Adjustment for one of these is +5, according to Soldarin's Calculator. CR should be 2/3 of the ECL, which comes out to about 12.

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    Default Re: [3.5 ToB Monster] The Dorokusai (PEACH)

    Rolling updates are in effect.

    I've tried to nail down the dorokusai's control of chains into an actual list of techniques, chiefly by messing with the Animate Objects spell. I considered making something out of the Animate Rope spell, but I didn't want to overcomplicate things and the capability of the Animated Object (as per the SRD) to Constrict seems to address it all well enough.

    Thoughts now?

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    Default Re: [3.5 ToB Monster] The Dorokusai (PEACH)

    I actually considered leaving it the way the Kyton has it acceptable, personally, but those are good additions. Also, when I said title, I meant the thread's title, so that people who are looking at the list of threads get a glimpse of what's inside.

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